Beach Capsule Wardrobe

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Every summer, I look forward to heading down south with my fiance and his family for a beach vacation. We’ve been going to the Isle of Palms right outside of Charleston for over 10 years, so I’ve sort of got my packing list down to a science. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create a mini capsule wardrobe with all of the essential outfits. We spend most of our time on the beach and at the beach house. We go out a few times throughout the trip, but most of our days and nights are spent in casual clothes at the house. With a washing and dry machine, these capsule items should easily last you for a 7-day beach trip, plus 2 travel days. The best part is that all of these pieces are interchangeable, so you can create a number of different outfits if you mix and match the pieces.

What I pack:

3 tops

2 layering pieces

3 bottoms

After we’ve squeezed as much beach fun out of the day as possible, we all reconvene at the house for a delicious homemade dinner and a card game. Most of my outfits are pretty casual, but I like to have a few nicer options just in case we go out for dinner one night or run into the city for lunch. I also bring layers to stay warm in the air conditioned house.

3 dresses

For my days spent flying to and from the beach, I usually wear a comfortable jersey dress and a jacket or cardigan. We usually go out for one really nice dinner, so I make sure to pack a formal dress and a day dress just in case my fiance and I decide to run downtown for a nice dinner or lunch.

3 cover ups

5 to 6 bathing suits (not pictured here)

I like to have a few different cover ups to get me through the week since I have a variety of bathing suits in different patterns and bright colors. Also, after a few days down at the beach, they start to look not fresh. Haha!

4 pairs of shoes

Not all shoes are pictured because my Jack Rogers go with every outfit, but I like to have sneakers just in case we go for a walk. And I live in my flip flops at the beach.

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Jean Jacket / Striped Shirt / White Skirt / Dressy Sandals

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Tank Top / Shorts / Dressy Sandals

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Dressy Top / White Jeans / Dressy Sandals

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Jean Jacket / Jersey Dress / Dressy Sandals

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Navy Blue Cardigan / Day Dress / Dressy Sandals

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Formal Dress / Dressy Shoes

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White Cover Up / Dressy Sandals

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Patterned Cover Up / Dressy Sandals

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Chambray Cover Up / Dressy Sandals

Tuna Salad with Lemon Olive Oil Dressing

I hope you’re adjusting to your routine after the long holiday weekend! A few weeks ago I shared my pantry staples for having healthy lunch options ready to go. This week I’m using one of those staples to make this light and tasty salad. The albacore tuna in olive oil that I bought at Trader Joe’s is cheap (under $2) and can be stored away until you need it. With only five ingredients, plus olive oil and lemon juice for the dressing, this salad is a cinch to whip up. Add your tuna, two pearl tomatoes sliced, a few slices of red onion, a handful of arugula, and salt to your salad bowl. Mix in the juice from half a lemon and about a tablespoon of olive oil. (I use the olive oil I keep at my desk.) And your lunch is ready! It’s been in the 90s in Pittsburgh so simple recipes like this are helping me stay out of the hot kitchen.

A Good Pair of Denim Shorts

Details: Similar Anthropologie Body Suit / J.Crew Denim Shorts and Scarf / Jack Rogers Sandals 

The last time I owned a pair of denim shorts was in high school. I still remember wearing them with my Tommy Hilfiger polo and matching Tommy Girl perfume probably on my way to go cosmic bowling. As an adult, I didn’t think they were very flattering until recently. Now I like the way they look with flowy, bohemian tops or a simple striped shirt. They go with anything. I bought this pair during the J.Crew memorial sale for 50% off, and I think they’re a great investment. The fit and wash are super flattering. My only regret is that I didn’t buy them in a bigger size. I think I would have liked a slightly more relaxed fit. I do like how they make my legs look longer, though!

Avocado Grapefruit Salad

I’ve made it a priority to make fresh meals almost every night for dinner. No packaged or frozen meals unless that’s all I have time for. With these sweltering 90-degree days we’ve had, it’s hard to want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. So I’ve been gravitating toward simple, no-oven-required recipes. This avocado grapefruit salad is perfect for hot summer days and it’s bursting with color and flavor. All you need are a few ripe avocados, grapefruit, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper, and kosher salt. I made this with fish tacos one night and it was bon appetit!

White Pants and Cargo Vest

Details: Target vest (similar) and shirt / Articles of Society jeans / Francesca’s Necklace / Jack Rogers Sandals

When it comes to me and white pants, I get very nervous. In my hurry to get everything done as quickly as possible, I can be somewhat accident prone. More than once, I have rested my coffee mug on top of my car as I put all of my stuff in the backseat and somehow knocked it off either while reaching for it or by closing the door too hard. Coffee then splatters everywhere, including on whatever stain-showing outfit I am wearing at the moment. That being said, If there was an equivalent to plastic couch covers for pants, I would consider wearing them. Without said plastic pants covers, I tried to take my time while wearing these new jeans and I had almost no stains. Almost meaning I did get a small spot of ink on them, but that’s what a Clorox Bleach Pen is for.

Aside from my anxiety that I will somehow soil these jeans, I’m really happy with the way they fit. They are not too tight and have a little bit of a stretch to them. I can definitely see myself dressing them up a little more with heels and a nice top, but this is a nice casual alternative.

Warby Parker Aviators

Warby Parker, maker of affordable yet stylish eye wear, and model and trendsetter, Karlie Kloss, have collaborated to create a unique collection of sunglasses. I immediately honed in on the Julia with its classic aviator frame, gold details and amber hue. Nothing looks quite as cool in the summer as a pair of aviators.

These too-cool shades need a good outfit to match.  This military-inspired vest is certainly up for the challenge. While this long striped maxi dress is both confident yet feminine, a perfect compliment to these delicate frames.   

And if you need any more of a  reason to like these sunglasses, each sale will benefit Edible Schoolyard NYC, which provides low-income public schools with kitchens and gardens to help students learn the tools to develop lifelong healthy habits. For every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Buy Now: Swimsuit

The one thing I procrastinate purchasing every year is a new swimsuit. I always think that I can wait until the swimsuit I want goes on sale. Every year I go back to the store a little later and find that there are not two pieces I could realistically match together on the sale rack. So every year I end up settling for something I’m not entirely happy with. This year, I decided to just buy the first swimsuit I fell in love with. I was strolling through my local Target in January when I saw it. This red and navy blue striped beauty was only $34! My recommendation is to snatch up the bathing suit you love now, especially from Target. They go like hot cakes! And be sure to accessorize with gold, canvas stripes and a messy beach braid.